Pakistan is weak, ethnically riven and a master of plausible deniability: Expert

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Washington, May 13 (ANI): Pakistan in its current state is a country that is weak and lacks the capacity to enforce its law and ensure domestic tranquility.

Secondly, it is a country that can be identified as an ethnic patchwork state that knows well enough not to bend restive or potentially restive minorities to its will, and thirdly it is a canny state that seeks to advance strategic aims by feigning powerlessness.

This view has been expressed by Bret Stephens, the foreign-affairs columnist of the Wall Street Journal.

"It is politically weak, ethnically riven, and a master of plausible deniability-an art it has practiced not only toward India, Afghanistan and the U.S. with its support for various "freedom fighting" groups but also, in the matter of the CIA drone attacks, toward its own people," claims Stephens.

According to Stephens, the roots of Pakistan's problems go to its nature as a state.

"Even now, nearly 62 years after its founding, the best answer is "not India":

As with the Palestinians, Pakistani identity is defined negatively. What else is Pakistan? As with Iran, it is an Islamic Republic: Punjabis, Pashtuns, Kashmiris, Balochis, Sindhis and so on are only really knitted together in their state as Muslims," he says.

No wonder the Pakistani army has been so reluctant to redeploy the bulk of its forces to the western front: To do so betrays Pakistan's entire reason for being. Tellingly, the army only went on the offensive this month after the Taliban took aim at an army convoy.

"The odds are roughly even that another "truce" will be agreed by the government just as soon as the Taliban draws appropriate conclusions and reserves its violence for clean-shaven men, independent-minded females and other enemies of God," Stephens says.

He concludes by saying: "We live in an age dominated by immodest ideas of personal, national or ideological destiny, to which Pakistan has not been immune." (ANI)

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